A city councillor is bringing cheer to her neighbours, encouraging them to enjoy the outdoors and support small businesses this weekend.
Councillor Cindy Gilroy's Daniel McIntyre neighbourhood is filled with small local businesses and many different people who are strong supporters of their communities. Wanting to draw attention to some and encourage people to get outside, Gilroy created a plan. She is working with three local businesses to give away Winnipeg-centred snacks, hoping to encourage people to explore and get outdoors.
"It is about engaging with the community, having people get out in their community, and support local businesses," Gilroy says. "This is a tough time for everybody and having some free Slurpees, or free chocolate at Morden's, or a piece of pizza always cheers someone up. That is the goal this weekend."
Many people in her neighbourhood have experienced layoffs and Gilroy is hoping to share some cheer with them. Taking advantage of the Wellness Fund, Gilroy's program is aimed to "make people a little bit happy." The fund was established last year by the City of Winnipeg to help communities as they face mental, emotional, and physical struggles.
"It is about connecting with people. For a lot of us who are stuck t home, we are on these Zoom calls and we are not doing the connecting that we used to do," Gilroy says. "When we get out there and we get to see our neighbours from afar it does make you feel good and it lifts you up."
She says Daniel McIntyre has plenty to offer others from cultures around the world and is encouraging other Winnipeggers to join them this weekend.
"I am hoping that people will walk or cycle. That is always a great opportunity for families. I think the more that we have people out and about in the community will get other people engaged."
Gilroy has seen people take initiatives in her communities, including hosting cleanup events.
"These are a whole bunch of different groups that are working collaboratively for the next month or so cleaning up the community."
Part of this weekend's event is piggybacking off of these group's efforts be in the community.
"Sometimes in the media, some of the areas get a bad rap but once you go down there and you see some of the local businesses and the people in and around there it does not seem so scary."
The Councillor is used to seeing her Daniel McIntyre constituents out and about, but with the current pandemic and cooler weather, she was missing running into them on the street. She is hoping this weekend's initiative will result in people exploring Daniel McIntyre on a regular basis.